ARLINGTON, VA - AUGUST 28: The American flag flies in tatters above the U.S. Capitol after Hurricane Irene moved through the nation's capital August 28, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Hurricane Irene has left more than 2 million people without power, and today has come ashore in New Jersey and is expected to cause major problems in New York City. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Some of the wind speeds and rain totals recorded during this weekend's Hurricane Irene have not been seen in this region in decades.
While the eye of the storm at its closest was 120 miles from the District, the blistering winds were felt far inland. At Reagan National Airport, windspeeds hit 60 miles per hour, prompting airlines to ground hundreds of flights. Farther north in Gaithersburg, gusts whipped up to 72 miles per hour. Closer to the ocean in Calvert Cliffs, the recorded 72 m.p.h. winds were enough throw lose aluminum siding into an electrical transfomer, taking one of the reactors off-line.
The all time wind speed record in the region was set in 1954, when Hurricane Hazel blew threw, gusting at 98 miles per hour.
In the D.C.-Washington-Maryland area, rainfall totals average 3 to 3.5 inches this time of year. But when Hurricane Irene blew through, many spots in our listening area received several times that over the weekend.
The heaviest accumulations fell in Calvert and St. Mary's County in Maryland, where some areas got 13 inches of rain. News4's Tom Kierein says that's 4 months worth of rain in 12 hours. Prince George's County also saw significant totals, with 5" to 7" recorded. Over in Virginia, the rainfall was much lighter 2" to 4" fell. At National Airport, the exact rain total was 3.83 inches after the storm.